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SAVAGE LIEE AND SCENES



AUSTEALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.



SAVAGE LIFE AND SCENES

IN

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND :

BEING AN ARTIST'S IMPRESSIONS OF COUNTRIES AM/
PEOPLE AT THE ANTIPODES.

SSaitfi numerous J-llustrattong.
BY GEORGE ERENCH ANGAS,

AUTH'JR OP "THE NEW ZEALANDEBS ILLUSTRATED;" "SOUTH AUSTEAli .
ILLl'STRATED ;" "A RAMBLE IK MALTA AND SICILY," &C.

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. ].




Tatta\aiuia .-M;aK1.N(, i;Mr ArsTRALIA.

LONDON:
SMITH, ELDER, AND CO., Q5, CORNHILL.

1 847.



London :

Printfid by Stewart and Mdrkay,

Old Bailey.



DLL

V. J



HIS EXCKLLENCY

CAPTAIX GEOEGE GPcEY,

GOVERNOR OF NEW ZEALAND,

AND

I.ATE GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA,

Cfjesc pngr^ arr tlclJtiatflf,

AS A SMALL TfnEUTE,

EXPRESSING THE HIGfl ESTEEM AND ADMIRATION

FOR THE

CHARACTER OF SO ABLE A NATURALIST,

SO ENTERPRISING A TRAVELLER,

SO GALLANT AN OFFICER,

AND

SO DISTINGUISHED A LEGISLATOR ;

WHICH IS UNIVERSALLY FELT

BT

THE COLO.VISTS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

AND BY

THE AUTHOR,



4C2SG-1

LIB SfTTS



PREFACE.



DuRixG my wanderings on the outskirts of civiliza-
tion, and among savage tribes who had never beheld
a white man, I invariably noted down on the in-
stant whatever facts and impressions seemed worth
recording. " Nulla dies sine linea" was my motto ;
and, however much exhausted by fatigue, I never
lay down to rest without having entered in my
journal such observations as could not be registered
by the pencil alone. My sketches have been ex-
hibited in London and other large towns, and are
being published separately ; my notes are offered to
the public, not without diffidence, in the following
pages.

Much as has been written about South Australia
and New Zealand, there yet appeared to be room
for the remarks of a disinterested observer, who
went to the Antipodes actuated by an ardent admi-
ration of the grandeur and loveliness of Nature
in her wildest aspect. My aim has been to de-
scribe faithfully impressions of savage life and



Viil PREFACE.

scenes in countries only now emerging from a
primitive state of barbarism ; but which the energy
and enterprise of British colonists, and the benign
influence of Christianity combined, will eventually
render the peaceful abodes of civilized and pros-
perous communities. Having penetrated into the
interior of Australia and New Zealand, and been on
friendly terms with the natives, sharing the hospi-
tality and journeying in the company of the New
Zealand chiefs, I may perhaps be entitled to the
merit of originality on this score. But it is prin-
cipally as a faithful describer of what struck the
mind of an artist seeking to delineate the character-
istic features of the countries and people, that I rest
my claims to public attention.

Writing as an artist, I make no pretensions to
literary skill, having attempted nothing beyond
arranging in a readable form the rough notes that
I made at the moment ; and the constant demands
of my profession on my time have compelled me to
perform this task in a more hurried manner than I
had anticipated. I must, therefore, claim indul-
gence for any marks of crude or hasty composition
from those readers who are accustomed to the
studied paragraphs and flowing periods of accom-
plished writers.

GEORGE FRENCH ANGAS.



Gloucester Place.
Sept.. 1843.



CONTENTS OF VOL. I.



CRAPTER T.



The Voyage from England to South Australia — Cape de Verdes —
Arrival at Port Adelaide Page 1



CHAPTER II.

Journey to the Murray — The Lakes Alexandrina and Albert, and the
Shores of the Coorong . . . . . . .41



CHAPTER III.

Observations on the Aboriginal Inhabitants of South Australia — The
Natives of the Lower Murray, and the Lakes — Of Moorundi — The
Scrub Natives — The Parnkalla and Nauo Tribes to the westward
of Spencer's Gulf 78



CHAPTER IV.

Notes of an exploring Journey along the South-east Coast of South
Australia, in company with his Excellency, Captain Grey — The
Coorong — Lacepede Bay — The Desert — Rivoli Bay — Tlie New
Country — Mount Schanck and Mount Gambler, with their Vol-
canic Lakes . .117



X CONTENTS.

CH^\PTER V.
Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln .... Page 181

CHAPTER VI.

The settled Districts of South Australia 206

CHAPTER Vn.

Voyage to Is'ew Zealand — Mount Egmont — Port Nicholson — Towjj
of Wellington— Porirua — Rauparaha and Rangihaeata — ^lana
and Taupo Pali 224

CHAPTER Vni.

Cloudy Bay — Te Awa iti — Queen Charlotte's Sound— Voyage to
Auckland — Description of the Town and surrounding Country 2G'J

CHAPTER IX.

General Remarks upon the Natives of New Zealand . . :iU3



DIRECTIONS FOR THE BINDER.

Plate I. — Native Currobbory . . tuface title page ■

II.— ElevHted Native Tomb . . „ pagt 71

III. — Scene in u New Zealand Forest . . ., „ 24u

iV, — Entrance to the Valley of the Wairau from

Cloudy Bay . . . . „ „ 271



SAVAGE LIFE AND SCENES



AUSTKALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.



CHAPTER I.

THE VOYAGE FROM ENGLAND TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

It was in the month of September that I left Eng-
land, when the golden tints of autumn had over-
spread the landscape with their mellow touch. No
day had ever before appeared so lovely as the one on
which we embarked. There was a clear frosty morn-
ing, and the sun rose without a cloud ; the summer
flowers still filled the gardens, and the apples and
mulberries lay scattered over the dewy grass-plats,
with the early sunshine glittering upon them. I
opened my bedroom window ; the air was balmy
and fresh, and the blackbird sang melodiously ; it
seemed as if everything was more beautiful than
usual, — perhaps it was because I was going to leave
it all so soon.

VOL. I. B



Z OFF THE LIZARD.

The last parting sounds from the shore were the
gentle and distant tollings of the Sahbath bells.
Were ever Sabbath bells so full of meaning before ?
They almost appeared to murmur to the parting
ship —

" Thou wilt not bring us back
All whom thou bearest far from home and hearth :
Many are thine no more again to ti'ack

Their own sweet native earth."

The next Sabbath dawn rose upon us in the sunny
latitudes of Portugal, nine hundred miles from our
nativ^e land ; our gallant vessel speeding through
the waters, dashing back the snowy foam into its
own blue depths, and with not a living thing to
break the boundless line of the horizon.




[Off the Lizard, the first week at sea.]



THE FORECASTLE — GORGEOUS SUNSET. O

The most picturesque interior on board a vessel is
the forecastle, belonging to the seamen. The descent
through the hatchway is by a steep ladder, and in
the centre of the apartment hangs an old rusty lamp,
fed with whale-oil, dropping a copious distillation
on the shoulders of those who pass beneath it. The
dim flame has scarcely strength to penetrate its
furthest recesses, where dubious twilight gives scope
to the fancy to supj^ly other rows of hammocks as a
continuation to those slung, like white canvass boats,
from the deck above. A sailor prides himself upon
his hammock : moreover, it is a snug thing ; it is
his constant bed, and may be, ofttimes, his shroud,
when his resting-place is the deep wide sea. The
lower-deck, kept bright by constant scrubbing, is
surrounded with a semicircle of chests of all descrip-
tions, though varying but little in size. It is even-
ing, and the " watch below" are assembled, pipe in
mouth, without a thought of care, listening to the
music of a violin. I should like Bill Wilson's
mother to have seen her boy then : every inch a
sailor ; a brave, free-hearted, careless one ; half-
sitting, half-lying on his sea-chest, and drumming
his fingers to the merry tune, as happy as a king.
Alas, poor boy ! he dreamed not of the dark and
troubled future.

Lat. 33° N. The setting sun seems to add new
splendours to his pavilion of glory, in the tran-
sparent atmosphere of these latitudes. Streams of
molten gold have streaked half the horizon with
their intense brilliancy, brighter than the glow of

B 2



4 THE PETREL — STANZAS.

ten thousand pyrotechnic fires bursting athwart the
sky. There poured such a flood of living crimson
around, that every blue wave changed from the hue
of the sapphire to that of the amethyst, and the
whole arch of heaven was full of purple light. A
rainbow, like a reflex of the sun's parting smile,
swept its gay colours across the eastern clouds, and
the pageantry of the sky was gone ; then came the
calm, grey night, and the awful stillness of the
ocean, as it slept beneath a shower of moonbeams.
Surely if there were sea-nymphs, or green-haired
mermaidens, they would have chosen just such a
glorious night for their syren-singing.

The little petrels, or Mother Gary's chickens, are
constantly careering about the vessel, now skimming
through the sunshine, and now tripping along,
gently touching the waves with their little black
feet, as though they received fresh vigour by contact
with the element, or fluttering, moth-like, above
some object in the water. As I leant over the
vessel's side, watching these ocean birds, the follow-
ing stanzas rose to my mind, and I could not refrain
from putting them on paper.

Bird of untiring wing,
Whence art thou wandering ?

Has the broad blue sea
V, A home for thee

, On its bosom of murmuring waters ?

When the red sun is born

At the coming of day,

From tlie niglit to the morn,

Thou art round our way,
Like a spirit upon the waters.



STANZAS. 6

A thousand miles and more
From our native northern shore,

O'er the bi-oad blue sea

Wanderers are we
On the breast of the faithless ocean ;

For we seek far away

Green hills again.

But night and day

Thou art skimming the main
With thy swift and silent motion.

Where is thy place of rest ?
Where is thy moss-weaved nest ?

The broad blue sea

Will cheerless be
When its tempest winds are sweeping.

There must be a spell

In the salt sea foam,

That thou lov'st it so well

As to make it thy home,
Thou nursling of ocean's keeping.

Bird of untiring wing,
Pursue thy journeying.

Tlie bi-oad blue sea

Thy home must be
From the dawn to the set of day ;

For the Spirit of Power

Hath been thy guide,

From thy earliest hour,

O'er the waters wide
To teach thee thy trackless way.

On the 7th October we saw land. The sun had
just risen, and darkly grey against the bright east
the high peaks of Porto-Santa were defined by a
sharp cutting outline. Beyond us, to the south-



MADEIRA.

west, wrapped in the mantle of fog and clouds that
had been gathered during the night by the freshening
wind, rose the far-famed Isle of Madeira ; the
shroud of vapour partially cleared away, and re-
vealed to the sunshine this gem of the ocean. Still,
masses of heavy cloud lingered around the mountain
tops, and the central peak was wholly concealed.
As the vessel glided along in full sail, the land on
both sides presented ever-varying points of view ;
the crisp blue waters were crested with foam, and
the bright sunshine chasing away the dull fog, lit
up scene after scene of enchanting beauty. It
appeared as though we had reached some paradise
belonging only to the regions of fancy. It was
delicious to watch the sunlight gild the rugged
peak, throwing dark shadows along the mountain
glen — to see the white cottages sprinkled about the
valleys, and the green vineyards sloping down as it
were from the bosom of the clouds.

The south-east portion of the coast is girt by
stupendous cliffs and sharply pointed rocks, against
wdiich a high surf runs. Beyond these rise, till
their summits are concealed by the clouds, vast moun-
tain slopes, scattered with forests and vineyards ;
where we could discern, as on a miniature model,
villages, cottages, and convents, and trace the
paths along the winding glens, and the vivid green
patches of the gardens. The effects of light and
shade and mist on the landscape were surprisingly
grand, and all looked gay in the morning sunshine ;



THE CANARIES. 7

grampuses bounding through the waves, and the
seafowl skimming round, imparted life to the scene.

Three islands called Desertas lie to the south-east
of Madeira ; they are high, and rise abruptly from
the sea, whilst their summits are jagged and serrated
in a peculiar manner. A sharp, isolated column of
rock, resembling a ninepin, occurs at the extremity
of the northernmost island : they all present a
barren and desolate aspect.

We sighted several of the Canary Islands. On
the morning of the 9th, Palma was visible, distant
15 miles ; owing to the haze, its only indication was
a huge shadowy mass, scarcely distinguishable from
the atmosphere, rising to an immense height from
the sea. On the 11th, we fell in with the north-east
trade wind in latitude 26° N. The moon rose of a
deep and clear amber colour, and though now
waning, flashed its powerful rays, like a second sun,
from behind occasional masses of cloud. The crisp
indigo-blue waves, with their moon-spangled foam,
the purity of the milky way, the unusual brilliancy
of the planets, and the strong yet balmy-breathing
wind, are characteristic of the nights we now enjoy.
More congenial than the scorching heat of noontide,
with its hot and misty glare, is the reviving breath
of the atmosphere after sunset, when down comes
the awning on deck, and a host of bright stars gem
the canopy of the sky.

On the 13th, we crossed the tropic of Cancer.
Seated on the bowsprit, I have been watching our



b NOONTIDE IN THE TROPIC.

progress through the waters. The white waves are
dashing back as the vessel's prow cleaves its way
through their midst ; no smoky dull atmosphere is
around — no chill and gloomy blast : all is light and
sunshine ; above, around, beyond, to the farthest
verge of the horizon, the blue sky and the blue sea
seem to smile at each other. Southward, a blaze of
light and heat marks the noontide sun flashings his
tropical splendour around ; and thin clouds, like
specks of wandering down —

" Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind,"

steal most gently along the sky. There are gannets
wheeling on their strong pinions, in pursuit of the
timorous flying fish, as they leap up to escape the
jaws of the green and golden dolphin. A bird,
supposed by some to be a grey parrot, settled on
the fore top-gallant-yard this afternoon, but it was
only a little downy owl ; and since the moon rose,
I have watched it flying briskly around the masts,
vainly searching for the moths and bats of its own
ancestral trees in Africa.

Within the trojjics we frequently observe the
beautiful Phasalia or " Portuguese man-of-war :"
its transparent membrane or sail is of a bright rose
colour. It is a delicate toy with which the breezes
sport, yet it skims on unhurt, for it is one of ocean's
progeny.

\lth October . — The islands of San Nicholas and
San Antonio are in sight : the more northerly of



CAPE DE VERDES — ST. JAGO. 9

the Cape de Verdes. Sunrise was a magnificent
spectacle : rugged masses of fleecy gold, strangely-
hurled about the sun, were succeeded by lines and
streaks of exquisite splendour, with mountains of
dark cloud ; and, in another hour, the might of the
tropical day had chased back the morning vapours,
pouring an unchecked flood of light over the sea.

It was evening as our vessel rapidly neared the
rugged coast of St. Jago. One vast and lofty peak
towered high above the others in the shape of a
huge, irregular pyramid. All eyes were directed
towards the mountains as we sailed along abreast
of the land, distant from the shore not more than
four or five miles. It was an enchanting sight : the
irregular and wildly-broken peaks, hurled and piled
in careless grandeur one above another as they
stretched inland, presented a more striking outline
than the heights ofj Madeira, There we sat in a
row, mounted on the top of the longboat, feasting
our eyes with the pleasant sight of land ; rendered
more delicious by the hope that in a few hours we
might be treading those shores which now appeared
to us like some oasis in the desert, or some bright
dream realised. As we watched with feelino-s of
admiration, fresh peaks, and glens, and ridges of
golden green, presenting themselves in succession to
our view ; gradually they grew darker : the mists
began to settle in the deep valleys, the outline of
every mountain became sharp and cutting, and a
thousand rich mellow tints of brown and purple
B 5



10 OFF PORTO PRAY A.

spread over their steep sides as the full burst of a
tropical sunset flashed up its splendours behind
them, leaving* a background like glowing- amber,
above which lay masses of heavy grey clouds look-
ing as dense as though they were charged with the
thunders of a tornado. Peak after peak yielded up
its parting gleam, cast from the setting sun, and
melted into the repose of night so rapidly, that
almost before we were aware of it, the stars shone
out, and darkness surrounded us : not heralded, as
in our northern lands, with the gently gloaming
twilight that makes the day steal imperceptibly
into the night, but sudden and impetuous, stretching
like a vast extinguisher over the bosom of the ocean.
Before the first gleam of day-break I was on deck.
We were at least twelve miles from our destination
at Porto Praya, which lies at the southern point of
the island, in a small bay. The wind was light, and
I feared we should hardly reach the port before
noon. Telescopes were in great request. The
mountains seemed, if possible, more beautiful and
inviting than they did on the preceding evening.
A grove of tall cocoa-nut trees, and a few scattered
date-palms, reminded us that we were approaching
the climate of tropical Africa. But little cultivated
ground was visible, and flats of elevated land above
the shores were covered with parched grass, on
which the cloudless sun poured down its withering
and fervid rays. Clusters of pulga bushes sprinkled
the sides of the valleys with patches of a vivid green



FIRST SIGHT OF THE TOWN. 11

colour ; higher up the mountains might be discovered
tracks of forest and scrubby brake interspersed with
bold grey rocks ; and above all rose a conical peak
like that of a volcano — which, I believe, is an extinct
crater, and the highest point in the island — with thin
vaporous clouds hanging round its sides, and spread-
ing along the summits of the less elevated moun-
tains. Indeed, the whole island presents volcanic
appearances, and lava soil is noticeable in many
places. Large flocks of cattle and goats were scat-
tered over the sunny, brown-looking plains above
the sea, and small clusters of thatched huts consti-
tuted the farms to which they belonged. The surf,
rolled in by the north-east trade- wind, beats violently
against the shore along the whole of the coast ; and,
as we rounded the south-east point, the rocks as-
sumed a bolder form, strewn at their base with black
fragments, over which the surf boiled like a whirl-
pool, dashing up to a great height.

On rounding the point, we came in sight of the
town of Porto Praya ; which is built on an eminence
of rock overlooking the bay, exhibiting a row of
wooden houses painted white and buff colour, and
roofed with red or white tiles : to the right extended
the caue-thatched huts of the Black Town. The
descent from the town is steep, and leads to a fine
shingle beach ; on the left the shore is sandy, where
a stream of water runs into the sea. Cocoa-nut
trees were scattered pretty thickly along the water's
edge, till the beach terminated in barren sand-hills



12 LANDING THROUGH THE SURF.

with a rocky bluff, against which the angry breakers
lashed with violence. In the background rose the
mountains, clustered in a variety of picturesque and
romantic forms. The glow of a tropical noon gilded
the whole. The feathery leaves of the cocoa-trees
moved gracefully in the air, large hawks hovered
fearfully around us, and all had a strange and foreign
air, as we cast anchor about half a mile from the
shore. After an hour's delay, the Consul came off
to us in his boat, under the shade of a huge umbrella,
bringing with him the health and customs' officers.
The usual ceremonies being over, we were permitted
to land. The gig was lowered alongside, and the
chair rigged for the ladies and childi'en to go ashore.
No sooner had the ship's boat pulled off towards
the land than other craft came round us, with
oranges and cocoa-nuts for sale, eager to convey
equally eager passengers at the rate of sixpence
ahead. Several of us descended into one of these
boats, and were rowed safely enough till we reached
the commencement of a surf, about a dozen yards
from the shore. Instead of landing us at the rocks
as they should have done, they pulled across to the
sandy shore on the left of the town, fully a mile from
the shii?, A whole group of negroes were drawn up
on the sand awaiting our arrival, and no sooner had
we entered the breakers than we were swamped in
the surf, and drenched from head to foot. In a
moment eight or ten black fellows were round us,
up to their waist in the foam, with no other artificial



" LA COCCOOn" — NEGRESSES. 13

adornment than the beads round their necks. At
first we imagined that they were going to carry the
boat with ourselves in it upon their shoulders to the
shore, instead of which it appeared that we were to
mount their backs, whilst they waded with us through
the surf. In an instant we were all astride upon
their shoulders, each man triumphantly bearing off
his load as fast as possible. We presented a most
ludicrous sight, all laughing at one another, and
several were on the point of upsetting. They put
us down on the hot sands that extended some little
way above high water-mark, beyond which grew a
trailing plant of great beauty, called by the natives
la coccoon. It grows about eighteen inches high,
with a round leaf, and a fleshy-jointed stem ligneous
near the root, the blossom convolvulus-like, and
displaying a disc seven or eight inches in circumfe-
rence, of a brilliant lilac colour. We plucked the
delicate blossoms almost instinctively, as if to admire
them still further by the sense of touch, though they
withered almost immediately in our hands. We
met several negresses on the shore in their gay cos-
tume, consisting of a petticoat of printed blue or
brown cotton, worn tightly round the hips, and
reaching to the ankles in loose folds, a portion of it
being twisted up at the waist, and descending on the
left side like a scarf. A white body, or jacket
without sleeves, and a red or yellow kerchief tied
round the head, with necklaces, ear-rings, and silver
bracelets on one arm, completed their dress. Goats'



14 " JOKIm" — NEGRO GUIDES.

skins are an article of trade here with America, and
bundles of them lay on the sands ready for exportation.
On reaching the stream we directed our course
inland, following its hanks amongst the luxuriant
foliage of cocoa-nuts and bananas, with a profusion
of la coccoon blossoms starring the surface of the
ground. AVc hired one of the negro boys called
" Jokim," who accompanied us as a guide, promising
his services all day, first for three shillings and after-
wards for one. But it was useless hiring a single
lad : we were fated to have them all for our guides,
whether we liked it or not, to the number of seven.
One carried my insect-net, another the forceps, a
third the collecting box, a fourth my sketch-book,
and so on ; thus escorted, we sallied forth with our
negro phalanx. The stream, which here empties
itself into the sea, is the residue of a mountain torrent,
after the greater portion of it has been led off for the
use of the town ; where it is received into a tank or
fountain — a deep translucent basin, brimming with
the cooling element — whence the damsels of Porto
Pray a dip their water, in calabashes and jars, which
they carry on their heads. Brilliant tro])ical but-
terflies floated swiftly through the sultry air, now
sporting like spirits of light and beauty round the
tops of the palm trees, and now chasing each other
amongst the broad leaves of the banana and the
plantain. Other species were hovering about the
])ulga bushes, or expanding their gay wings on the
mimosa thorn, or the drooping leaf of the sugar-



INSECTS — GARDEN LUXURIES. 15

cane. There had been recent heavy i-ains, and in
some places the ground was exhahng moisture, and
cracking- on the surface with the heat of the sun.
The musquitoes along this glen were numerous and
troublesome ; the stream was stagnant in places,


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